If you’re an anime fan, chances are you enjoy the good ol’ sword fighting anime. The aspect of sword fighting in anime is a visual art and needs skill, realism, and creativity to be executed well.
Most of you are familiar with the popular ones like Demon Slayer and Bleach, but there is a whole bunch of overlooked sword-fighting anime out there. Today we bring you a list of just that.
Best sword fighting anime of all time:
These recommendations are ranked by a combination of the animation, the plot, and of course, the sword fights. With that being said, let’s dive in.
30. Time Of Shura
Time of Shura is a historical martial arts and sword-fighting anime that aired in 2004. The central characters, Yakmu, Takto, and Uzumi belong to the Mutsu clan, a family that specializes in a martial art aimed at using bare fists to fight even armed opponents.
The journey takes them from bodyguard gigs, and fighting tournaments, to even revolutions being fought where they can be seen going bare-handed against opponents armed with swords and such. This anime ranks lower as the animation needs work and the sword fighting scenes as well, though there are noteworthy sword experts like the famed Miyamoto.
The sword fighting in this anime is pretty decently executed for its time but kept simple in terms of the system of combat.
29. Sengoku Basara
Sengoku Basara is an anime with sword fights set during the Sengoku period, which was a time of wars fought for dominance with a lot of instability around. One of these instigators is the evil Oda Nobunaga.
The only chance of stopping this tyrant is the combined force of Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura, two skilled swordsmen who are rivals and can’t seem to put their differences aside.
Ultimately they realize the only way to stop Nobunaga is to team up and keep their rivalry aside, though they have always admired each other’s skills.
This sword-fighting anime has some decent sword-fight scenes with the duo showcasing their expert skills and there are users of differently shaped weapons as well.
The weapons also have energy releases and there are scenes where the warriors are moving so fast, they can cruise over the surface of the water. It has themes of the samurai era so for those enjoyers it is worth the watch.
28. Revolutionary Girl Utena
During her early years, after she became an orphan due to a tragic mishap, Utena Tenjou was confronted by a Prince who raised her spirits and gave her a signet ring with an engraved rose. Fast forward years later, a teenage Utena is attending Ohtori Academy boarding school.
There she discovers others with similar rings and uncovers a sword-fighting tournament that decides who is the most skilled duelist, and this winner will also have the privilege of being with Anthy Himemiya, the “Rose Bride”.
This sword fighting anime has enough sword action where duelists dish out in the tournament, with duels being the main content of most episodes. In this system of dueling, one must destroy a rose worn by their opponent in order to win. There is a brief build-up and intro before most of the fights begin, adding to the anticipation.
This would require a high level of swordsmanship, agility, and mental tactics. There is also enough drama and even twists to keep you entertained for a bit, though it is a shorter one with an older animation style.
27. Brave 10
Next up in our list of best sword fighting anime is Brave 10. The anime is set in an era of warring states, where Saizou Kirigakure, a wandering ninja who is very handy with his weapons, has a chance encounter with Isanami, a shrine helper who barely escapes with her life after Leyasu forces burn it down.
He assists her in reaching Ueda castle to meet with Sanada Yukimura to ask for help in fighting back the invaders.
Yukimura agrees and hence they start on a quest to travel the land looking for 10 fighters with a vast range of sword techniques and other fighting skills to put together as an attacking force of their own.
Through their journey, Isanami’s hidden power slowly comes to light. Each of the warriors featured in this action anime has their own weapon choice, skills, and elements.
Watching Saizou show his impressive skill and speed with the katana is a treat. Brave 10 is a fun and action-packed adventure and sword-fighting anime that is great for most anime watchers.
In 16th-century Japan, two ninja clans, the Iga and Kouga, are entangled in a bloody feud. Warlord Ieyasu finally puts an end to this war and unites the clans, though resentment stays in their hearts.
Years later, Ieyasu’s grandsons both claim to be heirs of the shogunate, hence reinstating a state of rivalry. To resolve this, each clan is asked to send ten of their best fighters who can wield swords and other weapons, each representing one of two candidates to the shogunate, to fight it out in a battle to the death.
The fighters have different builds, weapons, and strategies they use, and is exciting to watch. The fights and strategies they use are pretty brutal and gory, so not for the faint viewers.
This anime with sword fights is more samurai-esque anime with historical themes and a less intricate plot, but well-planned, complex, and exciting combat scenes.
25. Shingeki No Bahamut
In the land of Mistarcia, there exist divine entities of all sorts. The ultimate villain is the dragon Bahamut who was sealed away for causing mass destruction. The keys that kept Bahamut imprisoned were split between the divine entities.
The protagonist of this story is a bounty hunter named Favaro Leone, a sarcastic youngster with a knack for handling a sword, and physical athleticism as well. The course of peace is put into chaos when he meets a woman who holds half the key.
This anime has a lot of sword fighting, one-on-one, group fights, and even sword wielders on horseback as they fight not only humans but also superpowered foes. There are knights in full-clad armour as well as necromancers who can control the dead.
If you like supernatural foes and monsters, this is the way to go. The anime focuses more on the story than merely the action aspect.
Claymore is a swordfighting anime which is quite popular among fans. It is often compared to Berserk by many.
Raki’s village is on an island that is overrun by flesh-eating demons called Yoma. One day, her village is attacked by one such Yoma and she is rescued by a white-eyed warrior. Raki finds out that this is a hybrid called Claymore, who is half human half Yoma.
This hybrid named Clare along with others was made by ‘The Organization’, a group that came up with the idea for hybrids to fight off Yoma. Raki is banished from his village so ends up joining Clare on her journey to track down one particular Yoma she has been looking for.
The fight scenes are very intense in this sword-fighting anime. Since the hybrids have super strength and speed, the speed of using their swords is sometimes so fast it happens in the blink of an eye, leaving only slashes as proof.
There is also a dual-wield type of fighters and scenes where Clare has to face multiple enemies at once and shows off her swordsmanship, with quick, decisive blows. it has both slowed-down moments and scenes where the hybrids are moving at high speeds so it’s not flatline action and will keep you on the edge.
23. Kill La Kill
Kill la Kill is seen as a very quirky anime. However, the fact that the anime features interesting sword fights is enough to guarantee a place in this list.
In the search for the culprit behind her dad’s death, Ryuuko Matoi finds herself at the Honnouji Academy, a kind of military school overlooked by Satsuki Kiryuin, the council president, and her strong supporters, the Elite 4.
Satsuki and her subordinates wear a special type of fabric which gives them additional powers so when Ryuuki challenges them she ends up losing.
Upon returning to her home which was burned down, she finds a uniform of her own called Senketsu. Armed with Senketsu and half of a scissor blade left behind by her dad, she once again returns to face Satsuki and finally gains insight into the culprit’s identity.
The sword fighting in the anime are not as fast as in the previous ones. But the scissor blade, Ryuuki’s thirst for vengeance, and her uniform which activates when in contact with her blood, definitely make the battles interesting.
Her technique is not like typical anime sword fights as it is a differently shaped longsword. She must adapt and move accordingly in order to strike down her opponents. It is a nice action-packed, fast-paced watch.
22. Carried By The Wind (Tsukigake Ran)
Carried by the Wind follows the story of Ran, an adventuring warrior who is accompanied by Meow, a martial arts expert. The duo travels to various towns and encounters different obstacles and problems in each one. They work together to come up with solutions, defeat enemies, and help the residents out.
The highlight of this sword fighting anime is the swordsmanship of Ran who is able to take on enemies who are physically stronger or more in number thanks to her unmatched skills with the katana and her nimble dodging.
She is also assisted by Meow who fights using her ‘Iron Cat Fist’ style. If you, like me, prefer the vintage anime style, a shorter completion time, and samurai warrior fights, add this to your list. This is a short, sword-fighting anime with each episode being an entire arc on its own and at least one fight scene.
21. Angolmois: Record Of Mongol Invasion
In their ambition to take over the world, the Mongols turned to gain control of Japan. They seek to initiate this plan by first taking over Tsushima Island.
In order to put a stop to them, the shogunate gathered a team of exiles and sent them to Tsushima to stop the invading Mongols in their tracks.
Among these is the protagonist, Kuchii Jinzaburo. Kuchii is a super-talented swordsman and fights using the Gekei style.
His fight with another swordsman of the same style is noteworthy, with a fast-paced and a little drama-induced battle. Kuchii’s movements are very natural to him due to excessive training and battle experience and is easily able to outskill most opponents, but does find it challenging when this particular one uses his same tehcnique.
The other exiles include Shiraishi the horseback warrior, Onitakemaru the war club user, Amushi a lithe scout with rare night vision, and Hitari the archer who has deadly accuracy with his bow. Though others use different weapons, there are many good sword-fighting scenes.
Katanagatari is a very unique title to make it to our list of best sword fighting anime. Guess why? Because instead of wielding a sword, the protagonist himself is the sword here.
Shichika Yasuri is the head of the Kyotouryuu School of Fighting. He lives and manages the school along with his sister, Nanami. Kyotouryuu is a style of fighting in which instead of using a blade, the user wields their own body as a blade, a style in which Shichika is an expert.
He is sought out by a lady named Togame, who is on the hunt for special weapons called the ‘Deviant Blades’. She believes his style of fighting would keep him from getting corrupted by the power of the blades and enlists his help and Shichika accepts the offer.
They travel together and search and battle the wielders of these 12 blades in order to obtain them.
Shichika uses a very fast-paced style of fighting, moving sharply and using his limbs as one would use a sword. The deviant blades all have special looks and abilities like reenergizing the user, or serving as anti-piercing armor, using bullets like a revolver, a very heavy crater causing blade as well as a light and kunai shaped one.
After being wounded in the battle of Sekigahara, Shimazu Toyohisa is transported to a white hallway filled with doors. He is directed to one such door and ends up in a world different from his own. This world is inhabited by humans, dwarves, elves, dragons, and many more exquisite creatures.
Shimazu finds out that an organization called the ‘Ends’ wishes to uproot peace and destroy all who oppose it. So at the request of some humans from this land, he teams up with other famous warriors from different time periods to take on the Ends.
Shimazu is a very skilled fighter using his slim longsword. This swordfighting anime features battles are more realistic with human fights as they rely on actual skills and physical capabilities obtained through intense training. The plot is interesting and would appease fans of the fantasy genre.
18. Inu Yasha
How can Inuyasha not be considered as a sword fighting anime? Kagame Higurashi is transported back in time (about 500 years ago) when a centipede demon drags her down a well on her family’s land. Unaware that she carries the famed Shikon jewel, one with immense power, it ends up being shattered and the pieces scattered across the land to various friends and foes.
She also meets Inuyasha, a half-demon half-human boy who initially dislikes her due to her resemblance to someone he knew. The pair eventually team up to travel; around and collect all the pieces of the jewel lest it fall into the wrong hands.
The main sword user here is Inuyasha who uses the blade called Tessaiga and over time hones his skills and the power of the sword is increased by defeating opponents. His sword skills and powers as a half demon combine to make a deadly combo of attacking. The idea, plot, animation style, and character relationship are key aspects of this sword-fighting anime that make it fun to watch.
17. Demon Slayer
Demon Slayer is probably one of the first title that comes to mind when you think of sword fighting anime in general. Why not? The animation alone makes it top notch!
Tanjirou Kamada is a cheerful, high-spirited boy who lives in the mountains with his sister, mother, and much younger siblings. The household lacks a father, hence Tanjoru does his best to play that role to his siblings. One day, he goes down to town in order to sell charcoal and support the family but gets held up and is unable to return the same day to his home.
When he arrives the next day, he is met with a tragic scene and finds his whole family killed by a demon, and worse, his sister Nezuko is turned into one. This sets Tanjirou on a mission to find that demon and avenge his family, with help from the elite warriors of the demon slayer corps.
In my opinion, this is one of my all-time best Sword-fighting anime. The concept of different types of breathing, how they affect the user, and styles of fighting are masterfully done. Tanjiro trains in water breating initially, but later unlocks sun-breathing, which was taught to him by his father using specific movements.
This style of fighting is more agressive than water and shows Tnajiro’s other side, especially when he sees his sister or friends in trouble. His teamates also accomany him on his quest, with Inosuke using a beastly-animalistic style of fighting and Zenitsu using the lightning style, with emphasis on speed and precision.
Ufotable outdid themselves with the story and action scenes, and the overall animation is very modern and visually stunning. A must-watch for all anime fans.
Born with the ability to see ghosts, laid-back high schooler Ichigo Kurosaki’s life takes a dramatic turn after a hollow (strong evil spirit) attacks his family.
While defending him and his family, a soul reaper named Rukia Kichiki is injured. She asks Ichigo to temporarily take her powers to fight the hollow and he is able to defeat it.
Unfortunately, he gets stuck with the reaper’s powers and is hence tasked to find and fight hollows as that was Ruki’s mission. In the process, he makes friends and foes and finds out that humans can be as evil as hollows as well.
The fight scenes in Bleach are on a whole different level and the swords are not all traditionally shaped. Not only is the sword skill used but also the special powers and skill of the fighters. Each sword has its own unique ability known as Bankai.
The power release is a spectacle to behold and is one of the reasons it was part of the ‘big 3’ of anime. Among the strongest Bankai are Ichibe’s, which can rewrite his opponent’s abilities, Yamamotos’s scorched katana, and Toshiro’s ability to manipulate water and ice.
This gives them the power to burn or freeze opponents, make them bleed excessively or even summon creatures to fight for them. The animation leans to a darker theme but it suits the story and the characters are so well written and designed.
15. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Shirou Emiya and his classmate Rin Tohsaka are unwillingly pulled into ‘The Holy Grail’ war, an all-out brawl to the death where the contenders or ‘Magi’ summon different heroes to fight on their behalf. Rin uses the soldier ‘Archer’ and Shirou uses the soldier ‘Saber’ as their soldiers to fight in the war.
The ultimate prize is an artifact called the ‘Holy Grail; which grants the user any wish. Hence to keep it from falling into the wrong hands, Rin and Shirou team up to defeat the other contenders and reach the top.
Now Fate series has a lot to offer, but it is also one of the best sword fighting anime out there (check out our watch order for Fate anime series if you are confused where to start from). The fighter’s skills, abilities design are unique and the fight scenes are very cinematic.
The fights are done mostly by the summoned soldiers who can possess different weapons and abilities not limited to swords. Though the majority will use something of this sort. There are decent number of sword fights but the storyline and concept of summoning is more the unique aspect here as opposed to the fighting itself.
14. Seirei No Moribito
Now, we have included Seirei no Moribito in the list of best sword fighting anime, however, the protagonist of the anime (a badass female) weilds a spear. However, fret not, because it features a lot of amazing swordfights!
As the Shin Yogo empire faces a famine, a council decides the only solution is to revive and slay a water spirit as they had done long ago to prevent a drought. Things take a turn for the worse when the son of emperor Mikado, Prince Chagum inherits the water entity inside himself.
Mikado does not care and still wants to slay the boy in order to bring abundance but his mother wants her son to escape. The mother seeks the help of a wandering fighter named Balsa to protect her son and escape the land with him. Balsa, armed with her spear, takes Chagum and leaves and frequently has to fight off those in pursuit of them.
As they journey together, Balsa’s past is revealed more and more, as to why she chose to protect the prince’s life.
Yes, technically not a sword by the main character but still! Balsa is very handy and skillful in using her spear and many friends and foes alike use swords, making for medium-paced fight scenes. She would have to vary her style and strategy when facing different opponent as using a spear can be very tricky due to its length.
It is refreshing in a way as we get to see how a spear wielder fights, using distance and the whole lenght of the spear for attack and defense, as opposed to the sword we usually see. Seirei No Moribito also explores more character and story depth so makes for a worthwhile watch.
13. Peace Maker Kurogane
Up next in out list of best sword fighting anime is Peace Maker Kurogane. Trust me, you shouldn’t be put off by the anime’s MAL score, because it has plenty to offer when it comes to action and sword fighting!
Siblings Tatsunosuke Ichimura and his younger brother Tetsunosuke are left orphaned after their parents are killed by a warrior of Choshu, a military group. Tatsunosuke joins the Shinsengumi, a special force who stands against the Choshu, as an accountant so he can take care of himself and his brother.
He has passive feelings about the incident with his parents and just leaves it be, unlike his little brother “Tetsu” who wants to join the force as a warrior so he can avenge them. Tetsu does so and begins his journey of learning to fight, be mentally and physically tough, and be a man in the real world while making friends with the other famed fighters in the force.
Over time Tetsu also grows into a skilled swordsman and becomes a force to be reckoned with. Nothing to say here except for a strong plot, rugged characters, an older animation style, and watchable for the pure fundamental sword fights.
12. Arslan Senki
Well well well, how can Arslan Senki not make it to our list of best sword fighting anime. It is not just a sword fighting anime, but one of the best historical anime series out there.
While it was initially a light novel, the manga version of Arslan Senki was authored by Hiromu Arakawa! The latest anime adaptation was based on it! Couldn’t you tell by the character designs in the anime?
Here we follow the story of Prince Arslan of the kingdom of Pars, a capable warrior and a noble prince. His father the king, Andragoras III is currently fighting the neighboring kingdom of Lusitania.
When sending his troops for a battle, Andragoras is betrayed but trusted members of his court, their army is wiped out, and Arslan is forced to be on the run. At the head of Lusitana is a mysterious man in a silver mask, who takes over the capital Ecbatana.
Arslan must now find the force and strategy needed to take back his capital, with the help of his loyal general Daryun. Both of them are capable sword fighters, even being able to stand up against giants.
11. Sword Art Online
Everyone’s swordfighting anime recommendation begins with this title. No surprises there!
When a new technology called NerveGear is released, it ups the standard of virtual reality in games and thousands flock to play the latest game, Sword Art Online (SAO), which takes place in the fantasy world of Aincrad which has many challenges and multiple levels.
The protagonist, Kazuto Kirigaya, along with the many users, is soon trapped in the game by the developer and now has to beat the many levels to escape it. He teams up with another player named Asuna Yuuki and the duo fights to progress in the game and also uncover secrets about the developer Kayaba.
Kazuto and Asuna are gifted sword fighters with a high level of skill, speed, and strength. It is pretty thrilling to watch them as they fight and take down many opponents including dragons, giants, and other monsters. The concept, animation, and characters are well-written making this one of the more well-known anime on this list.
Gintama is a parody, sure. But it also features some amazing fights involving clash of swords (a particular wooden one in the mix). So, do not be surprised to find this title in our list of best sword fighting anime!
Gintama takes place in late Edo-period Japan where the shogunate is forced to surrender control to an invading alien force known as Amanto. The Amanto pull all the strings from the background and subsequently ban the citizens from carrying their samurai swords.
Enter our hero, Gintoki Sakata, an oddball samurai who refuses to bend his knee and continues to carry a wooden sword around. Along with his allies Shinpachi Shimura and an alien girl named Kagura, Gintoki starts his own freelance agency known as ‘Yorozuya’. The group tackles all problems and requests against criminals as well as aliens and ultimately seeks to protect Earth from the main villain, Utsuro.
This anime is well known for its humor. Even with it being on the comical side there are epic fight animations featuring Gintoki, who is a treat to watch as he takes down his opponents with his sword. He is a calm swordsman but can wreak havoc as and when required.
There are also many references to other anime, so that is another aspect viewers will enjoy.
9. Shigurui: Death Frenzy
Shigurui is one of the most goriest and darkest sword fighting anime you’ll ever come across. If you thought Tokyo Ghoul and Berserk had gore in it, think again!
Under the rule of Tokugawa Tadanaga, the shogunate organized a tournament using real steel swords as opposed to the custom of using wooden swords known as ‘Bokken’. this tournament pits two former allies against each other: Gennosuke Fujiki, a one-armed fighter, and Seigen Irako, who is a blind samurai.
Both of them were former students of Kogan Iawamota, the headmaster of an elite dojo. Gennosuke and Seigen both differ in their ideals and reasons for participating in the tournament which is explored and revealed over time.
If you need a sword fighting anime that you can finish quickly, add this to your watchlist. The animation style is sort of black and white-ish and the fight scenes are actually brutal, might be more suitable for older audiences.
8. Akame Ga Kill
Akame vs. Esdeath? Best swordfight? I rest my case. Well, Akame ka Gill is one of the best sword fighting anime out there and rightly makes it to the 8th spot in our list!
A small-town boy named Tatsumi arrives at the capitol unaware of the dangers and evil minds in power that exist. After losing his two friends, being swindled out of his money, and almost killed by a prominent family, he meets a rogue assassin group known as Night-raid.
This group of elite warriors is a part of the revolutionary army that seeks to overthrow a prime minister who manipulates and takes advantage of the young, inexperienced emperor. Tatsumi soon learns the truth and understands what it means to fight for a reason greater than self and plays a major role in the revolution.
The fight scenes in this anime are among my favorites. Night-raid and even some of the opposing forces use special weapons called ‘Imperial Arms’ that each have their own unique ability. Some notable imperial arms are Incursio the short sword, Cross tail, Balzac, Grand chariot the black sword, and extase a large pair of scissors.
The characters, especially Akame, Tatsumi, and Esdeath, are well-written and definitely make their mark. I would also classify them as them as the top sword users in this anime, each having a knack and tenacity in their fighting style. The animation and storyline are good as well with a decent pace.
7. Afro Samurai
When western swag meets classic Japanese sword fighting, you get Afro Samurai!
A young boy named Afro, the protagonist, is the son of Rokutaro, a samurai who wears the coveted ‘No. 1’ headband which grants the wearer status and powers.
After witnessing the wearer of the ‘No. 2’ headband slay his father in front of him and take the No. 1 headband, Afro sets on a mission to train and become a strong warrior and obtain the No. 2 headband so he can challenge the killer, as only the wearer of the second may challenge the first.
Many battles and years later he almost reaches his goal, but faces many obstacles as anyone can challenge the wearer of No. 2 headband.
The sword fighting anime features some smoothly animated and iconic fights that are appealing to watch, though it is a bit gory.
The protagonist moves with precision and deadly force as a result of battle experience. The sword-fighting system is traditional, and done following ancient rules, atleast for the most part. If you want to watch a short, action-packed swordfighting anime, this is the way to go.
Dororo is an anime that features a lot of sword fighting, thanks to how the protagonist, Hyakkimaru is!
Daigo Kagemitsu is a samurai lord whose land and people are suffering from a lack of food resources and water. Desperate to keep them alive, he makes a deal with a group of demons to give them anything they want and consequently sets them free to wreak havoc.
The demons in exchange for prosperity take his firstborn son’s facial features, skin, and limbs. Kagemistsu denounces him as his son and orders him left by a river, where he is found and raised by a medicine man who also makes prosthetics for him.
The boy is called Hyakkimaru and trains every day with his sword so he can face the cruel world. He learns that he can seek and slay each of those demons to gain the missing pieces of his body back and in the process befriends orphan Dororo.
Hyakkimaru, despite having no limbs or vision is already a capable swordsman, who learned to rely on his senses and prosthetic limb with an attached sword to fight. His style of sword-fighting is very clean cut and deadly. As he slays the demons, he regains his sight and limbs one by one.
I cannot say enough good things about this anime. Hyakkimaru’s skills, character designs, opening theme, and fights are all super but the depth of this anime gets to me every time. The intricacy of friendship, family, resentment, and love are explored so deeply that it is hard for the viewer not to feel the same.
5. Beserk (1997)
Enter the all time classic, and one of the most legendary anime in general out there. Only the 1997 version!
Wandering through the midlands is lone wolf mercenary Guts. A man of big stature carrying a greatsword who can easily take on groups of enemies all at once. He roams around as a sword for hire but owes allegiance to no one until he comes across Griffith, the leader of a rogue crew called the Band of the Hawk.
Griffith makes Guts a member after defeating him and over time the two build a strong trusting bond and Guts becomes a commander in the crew. Unbeknownst to him is that Griffith is fated for a dark future that would put him and the crew in peril.
Almost every action and sword-fighting anime fan has heard of Berserk. Watching Guts hack down foes with his greatsword and even Griffith fight like a pro is exciting enough. Guts relies more on his weight and stature to overpower them, whereas Griffith on his expertise as a swordsman and his wits to predict his opponents.
The other members of the Band of the Hawk are also very capable and are easily able to take on forces much larger than themselves and subdue them. Though it is old, it is a classic at this point, the depth of the characters, the plot twist, and the dark turn of events are some of the things that make it a thrilling watch.
4. Blade Of The Immortal
Blade of Immortal is often overlooked by many, but it actually is one of the best sword fighting anime you can find out there.
Blade of the Immortal follows the tale of Manji, a master Ronin who is widely known for killing 100 men. A nun named Yaobikuni uses rare bloodworms that can heal any injury he sustains in battle, in a way making him immortal.
After a while, Manji feels the loneliness of life and seeks to end his while also regretting his actions. He tells Yaobikuni that he will kill 1000 evil men to make amends for his past and she vows to remove this curse after so he can die in peace.
On his path, he meets a girl named Rin Asano who was left alone after a group of Swordsmen killed her parents. Manji agrees to help her find and kill these swordsmen and the pair begin a journey together.
The vintage animation style suits the theme very well and despite being immortal by the worms, Manji is still a feared and deadly swordsman, using very fundamental techniques to quickly dispose of his enemies.
Manji remains calm before a fight and strikes fear into his enemies with his speech and looks. A quest motivated by vengeance and atonement makes for a storyline that will keep you interested.
3. Samurai Champloo
Samurai Champloo is a cult classic from the director of Cowboy Bebop Shinichiro Watanabe. So, don’t be surprised if you find an all to familiar vibe between the two. However, instead of space adventures, this anime has elite sword fights, with the same jazz!
A fight breaks out in a teahouse when the samurai Mugen steps in to defend the waitress Fuu from the prefect’s soldiers who were harassing her. Unfortunately, he doesn’t stop there and mistakes Jin, a skilled ronin, for one of the soldiers and picks a fight with him as well.
During the course of the battle, the duo pretty much destroys the tea shop and accidentally kills a politician’s son. They are consequently captured and arrested, only to be rescued by Fuu. She enlists their help to search for a samurai who smells of sunflowers from her past. All three of them thus set out on a journey.
Samurai Champloo is a fun, relaxing watch to kick back and chill. Jin has a very traditional sword fighting style using fundamental techniques and ideas whereas Mugen uses movement similar to dancing, which is more free flowing and adapting to the opponent and environment.
The fighting scenes are pretty entertaining and smooth, and the anime has a humorous theme throughout. The music score is upbeat and the ending is neutral yet ties everything up, so if you don’t like cliffhangers, there’s no need to worry.
2. Rurouni Kenshin
No surprises here. Rurouni Kenshin is anime which features a lot of sword fights. The plot of the anime follows Himura Kenshin, a famed ex-assassin, who now wanders the land helping and protecting those who need it to make up for all his past atrocities. One such person he helps is Kamiya Kaoru, whose family operates a dojo.
After he defends her from an imposter impersonating Kenshin, she sees his changed ways despite his reputation and offers him a place to stay at the dojo. Here, Kenshin grows close to her and gains many new friends and foes as well as he seeks to do what is right.
Himura Kenshin is a gifted warrior who strikes with speed and overwhelming force. He is able to predict opponent moves and get ahead of them, and his technique is very hard to get a read on.
This makes for some thoughtfully crafted sword-fighting scenes. This is a proper, vintage, sword-fighting anime with not just action, but a nice storyline, romance, and character development.
1. Sword Of The Stranger
In my opinion, Sword of the Stranger is not just the best sword fighting anime, it also features one of the best sword fighting sequences in all of anime!
Kotarou and his dog Tobimaru are petty thieves who wander around stealing from villagers. Their lives take a turn for the worse when the Ming dynasty’s soldiers seek him out for mysterious reasons. Kotarou and Tobimaru, on the run, eventually run into a ronin named Nanashi.
After Nanashi defends them from an attack, Kotarou compensates him and requests Nanashi to be their bodyguard. It is later revealed the dynasty sought out Kotarou because there is a prophecy about him.
A classic ‘chosen by fate’ protagonist story, with a cheerful boy, dog, and serious side character. The fight scenes are medium-paced, the storyline progresses pretty quickly and there are some pretty emotional scenes as Nanashi fights to protect the boy Kotarou.
The fights are more traditional and kept to merely skills as a swordsman being the deciding factor instead of powers etc. Tobimaru’s loyalty to him is very admirable as well and puts up a vicious fight to protect his friend, using just his teeth against soldiers with weapons.
What are your thoughts on our list of best sword fighting anime? How many of these titles have you seen? Let us know them in the comments!